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Tsunami Kills Over 295,000

Natural Disasters Tsunami Indonesia Sri Lanka

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#41 Delvo

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 12:48 PM

Lyric Z D, on Dec 27 2004, 11:35 AM, said:

Whoa, this thing hit Chennai? I have family there!

It was just the coast, though, right? It didn't affect the main city? Does anyone know?

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A wave can't mess with things significantly above the height of the wave. (It can only hit things slightly higher than that by "washing" uphill from momentum, and even then it would be a very reduced effect not much different from routine storm-floods.) So how high you have to be for safety depends on how big the wave is, which depends on how close to the epicenter you are. Even at the closest and worst, it should only take a few dozen feet, and most islands in that area, espcially ones big enough to have a "main city" on them, reach that altitude within a mile or so from the coast.

#42 Delvo

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 01:09 PM

Pickles, on Dec 26 2004, 01:31 PM, said:

wonder what consequences this has for the future if the earth's rotation was disturbed?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

tvbuff, on Dec 26 2004, 04:28 PM, said:

And what kind of impact might this have if earth's rotation was disturbed, as I read above?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

One island was said to have moved about 100 yards. That indicates that the plate it was on moved about 100 yards. If the plate that moved was the Austrio-Indian plate, that would be something like 10% of the planet's surface (assuming no stretching or squeezing happened within the plate, which it probably did, so probably a much lower fraction than that actually moved). That would be like a spinning ice skater waving a hand once instead of holding his/her body still; (s)he could briefly slow down or speed up the spin rate, before returning to original speed and continuing the same as if (s)he hadn't waved a hand. It's a small, temporary effect. (And in this case it would be even smaller since the mass and distance of the movement of this piece of the crust are a much smaller fraction of the world's mass and size than a hand-wave is compared to a human's mass and size.) The world's most sensetive clocks might have be reset to add or subtract an otherwise undetectable amount of time to/from the length of the day that the earthquake happened on, but that's all.

Edited by Delvo, 27 December 2004 - 01:46 PM.


#43 Vapor Trails

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 01:19 PM

edited-I just saw Delvo's post above.

But to DISTURB the Earth's rotation and MOVE an island ONE HUNDRED YARDS SOUTH???

:eek3:  :eek3:  :eek3:  :eek3:  :eek3:  :eek3:  :eek3:

Edited by Digital Man, 27 December 2004 - 01:23 PM.

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#44 Vapor Trails

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 01:53 PM

You folks might want to follow this thread on the Bad Astronomy BBS:

http://www.badastron...der=asc&start=0

Fascinating stuff.
Posted Image

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#45 Delvo

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 02:04 PM

Somebody in that thread wondered how much warning time there was (or could have been) in terms of the speed of earthquake ground-waves compared to the speed of tsunami waves, and forgot to consider the speed of electromagnetic waves!... as in, somebody on the first island to be hit calling people on other islands in the area and saying "Hey, we just got hit!..."

#46 QueenTiye

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 05:01 PM

Good news is that officials in the area are now considering adding in a warning system - something which they should have had quite some time ago. :(

http://story.news.ya..._warning_system

Quote

BANGKOK, Thailand - The extraordinary loss of life from Sunday's earthquake and tsunami waves has prompted Asian governments to consider developing a more comprehensive and effective warning system so that more lives can be saved in future natural disasters.

Scientists nearest the quake's epicenter knew shockwaves could create tidal surges that would threaten coastal regions and shipping, but said Monday they had no way of measuring the size of the danger because a warning network like the one used in the Pacific is not installed in countries lying on the Indian Ocean.

Does anyone know WHY they didn't have the warning system in the first place???

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#47 ZipperInt

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:20 PM

The cost, maybe?
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#48 tvbuff

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:27 PM

Digital Man, on Dec 27 2004, 03:10 AM, said:

For tvbuff:

http://www.nzherald....bjectID=9004724

This lists the death toll at 12, 600.

:eek4:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks for the link, Saul...This is beyond horror.... :eek:

#49 Lyric of Delphi

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:28 PM

Yeah, some of those countries have enough to deal with in the way of people on the streets and thousands dying of causes that would seem stupid here; they don't worry about "what-if" scenarios all the time because they don't have the luxury to. That's what I can say about India, anyway.

#50 Shoshana

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 08:01 PM

Handmaiden07, on Dec 27 2004, 04:01 PM, said:

Does anyone know WHY they didn't have the warning system in the first place???

HM07

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Mostly because it costs alot of money that those countries don't have available and because tsunami in that region are actually very very rare. Most of the tsunami occur in the Pacific, and the US pays for a large part of that warning system.

What was so frustrating was that there were geologists in the US that knew that the tsunami was likely and frantically tried calling people in SE Asia, but no one had a phone number for anyone who could do anything.

'shana

Edited by Shoshana, 27 December 2004 - 08:01 PM.


#51 Cardie

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 11:33 PM

Another piece of depressing news I just heard was that they estimate 1/3 of the victims are children.

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#52 Nikcara

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 11:37 PM

Right now I'm worried about the survivors - lack of food, shelter, and clean water are all going to be big issues.  Plus with the all the trauma, I expect a spike in suicides.  And with all the bodies, disease is going to be hard if not impossible to control.
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#53 Shoshana

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 11:41 PM

^ I saw that. Actually, I read where they think the percentage may even be higher in some places like Sri Lanka  - up to 50%. They saw one woman who has 11 children missing.

From Climbing Asian Death Toll Passes 22,500

Quote

Late Monday, Indonesian Vice President Yusuf Kalla told the state news agency he believed the toll in his country could climb to 25,000.

So unbelievable...

#54 Norville

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 12:28 AM

To answer my previous question, Arthur C. Clarke has reported in safely.

Shoshana said:


Interesting site. Checking their "Largest Earthquakes in the United States" -- I'd known that Alaska had contributed at least two of the most powerful worldwide quakes on record, but not that it had contributed *so many* powerful ones (11 in a list of 18).

They have the 1906 San Francisco quake at 7.8, but perhaps no one is entirely certain, because it tends to be listed from 7.8 to 8.5, depending on the report.

Shoshana said:

Now they're saying that entire villages and hundreds of people are missing in the coast of Somalia - thousands of km away.

That's mind-boggling, as is the idea that an island moved 100 yards from its previous position. *whew*
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#55 Delvo

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 01:15 AM

The populations on high ground will now have to get food without half of the islands' ports functioning, although the ones on the other side might be able to handle it, for those islands that have any.

I saw a video earlier today that showed at least a half-dozen people in fast-moving water trying to cling to what looked like a dock or the top of a skeletal building frame... and failing.

#56 Chakotay

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 01:23 AM

Clean drinking water is going to be the big priority now.

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#57 Delvo

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 01:25 AM

Shoshana, on Dec 26 2004, 08:02 PM, said:

NZ was more likely to have felt the quake that was closer a couple of days ago - Magnitude 8.1 - NORTH OF MACQUARIE ISLAND 2004 December 23

http://earthquake.us...ws/2004/ussjal/

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I wonder why that didn't make the news, not even in the few days it had before the one that all the news is about.

Interesting note: The two earthquakes happened on different sides of the same plate. It's possible that the second one's trigger was pulled by some stress and jarring caused by the first one.

#58 Chakotay

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 01:33 AM

No great loss of life in popular tourist areas? News that tends to involve people is the stuff most likely to get reported.
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#59 Shoshana

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 02:12 AM

Delvo, on Dec 28 2004, 12:25 AM, said:

Shoshana, on Dec 26 2004, 08:02 PM, said:

NZ was more likely to have felt the quake that was closer a couple of days ago - Magnitude 8.1 - NORTH OF MACQUARIE ISLAND 2004 December 23

http://earthquake.us...ws/2004/ussjal/

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I wonder why that didn't make the news, not even in the few days it had before the one that all the news is about.

Interesting note: The two earthquakes happened on different sides of the same plate. It's possible that the second one's trigger was pulled by some stress and jarring caused by the first one.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I saw it online at the time and was kinda surprised that there was no tsunami associated with it. And I did read one article that mentioned that the two might be related. Can't find either article at the moment tho...

Ahhh... found something- dated 24 December 2004

Earthquake puts Southland in spotlight

Quote

Meanwhile, scientists are reassuring people that they should be no more worried than usual over today's 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

Earthquakes of that magnitude are officially classified as "great" earthquakes, capable of causing great damage and loss of life.

The 1906 earthquake which struck San Francisco was a typical "great" earthquake.

However, at more than 800 kilometres from Invercargill, it was too far away to cause any damage though as well as being felt in the South Island it could be detected in Tasmania.

The epicentre was a little closer to remote Macquarie Island, at 400 kilometres away, but scientists working at the Australian Antarctic Division there were unaware of it.

Duty seismologist Dr Ken Gledhill says because New Zealand is on the Pacific Ring's plate boundary, there are going to be some big quakes every now and then.

Today's early morning quake also created a 20 centimetre tsunami at Bluff.

Edited by Shoshana, 28 December 2004 - 02:19 AM.


#60 Shoshana

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 02:14 AM

Chakotay, on Dec 28 2004, 12:33 AM, said:

No great loss of life in popular tourist areas? News that tends to involve people is the stuff most likely to get reported.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As far as I've heard, no loss of life or damage at all, so it's not real big news. No video, you know?

'shana



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